When organizers of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Women’s Rugby Club needed to bring in some new players, they sought out promotional giveaway ideas to aid their recruitment efforts. This video explains their strategy and how it played out in Oshkosh:
Recruiting new players and customers:
The college rugby club’s leaders set up a table at a campus event for UW Oshkosh clubs and organizations. They used a prize wheel to determine whether the table visitors won a club-imprinted water bottle, T-shirt or sunglasses! Only those providing an e-mail address on a contact form for interested players got a turn at the wheel. Cat, the team’s coach, said the marketing effort yielded close to a dozen new players, the most they’d ever recruited in one season! Now they had 26 players (instead of the bare minimum 15 for a team) and that paid off—they took second place in their conference and made it to the Sweet 16 in the national playoffs! You can apply these marketing tactics to your situation. Put a prize wheel in your car dealership or front lobby and get prospect contact information in exchange for a small, printed prize. Hand out water bottles or other low-cost goodies at your organization after they sign up for an e-newsletter or customer promotion. You get the idea!
Standing out at events:
Think about printed duffel bags for wellness program launches or fitness center open houses, logoed caps or shirts for charity events and noisemakers or stadium cushions for sports events. Tailor the items to your budget, your prospects and your events! Others will see your brand and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to help sponsor an event that may not be related to your business’s goods and services. Sponsor a music concert, fireworks display or another public event and hand out your logoed merch there.
Branding that lasts and lasts:
One big benefit of using low-cost promotional products to help advertise your team, club or company is that those hard-working items keep catching potential customers’ eyes for months or years! Think about those old concert or run-walk charity T-shirts you’ve been wearing for years—they are still advertising bands, banks, hospitals and other sponsor businesses! Those rugby club T-shirts are now showing up on campus, right where other potential players go to school. By contrast, expensive TV, radio or newspaper ads are here today, gone tomorrow (or gone in seconds). Most studies have shown that promotional products have a much higher return on investment than radio and outdoor advertising, and as good as or better than print and TV ads.
Winning with fan giveaways:
Bobbleheads, miniature bats and little helmets are classic fan giveaways at minor- and major-league baseball games. Those memories created with fans young and old will last for years and even lifetimes! Your initial investment for promotional goodies is rewarded with not just smiles, but the spark of a relationship that could last for decades. You can do the same thing with your sports-related organization. Build your fan base with little extras. Give out a freebie, like a printed shoehorn, with the purchase of athletic shoes. Check out our list of Team Spirit products—hundreds of inexpensive, fun ideas geared toward sports events, whether it’s rugby, baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer or something else!